Ohio Schools Should Teach Manners

I moved to central Ohio in 2012 for family reasons. When we first got here, I marveled at the beautiful trees and seasons. Coming from Phoenix where there are two seasons: hot and hotter. Fall was beautiful with all the multi-colored leaves.

Then I started to meet people here.

I would have been fine if I’d just minded my own business, but instead I decided to start meeting new people, try to make new friends here. Boy was that a mistake!

It is now 2015, and I have logged 3 1/2 years here. I thought I was losing my mind, that I had a mental illness. Seriously! But, I started swapping notes with others who relocated to the midwest, and it turns out I’m not crazy!

Ohio is so rude it boggles my mind. And I’m not losing it, I’m just so unaccustomed to terrible rudeness that I assumed it must be me. That’s a fair assumption, after moving to a new town, new state. I just didn’t understand the local culture and customs. Hmph! Well, now I know better.

Ohio is not the only rude and uncivil state in the union, but it stands out by being at the top of the list amidst a growing trend toward rude/uncivil behavior in America. Manners are in decline nationwide. Why can’t people just be civil, polite, courteous? I’m not asking for kindness; that would be asking too much. But civility? Is it really too difficult a thing to manage? Apparently, yes, it is.

Here are some quotes from people who have visited Ohio and regretted it. I’m leaving out names but the source of the comments is below. (By the way, I’m not leaving out any counter-points because none were made; no one disagreed).

  1. I’m a PA native who has lived in Ohio for nearly a decade & can assure you this is not a bit surprising!! I have always considered the individuals that live here to be less than friendly, and exceptionally less than intelligent as well…this may pay a part! hah!
  2. I have to agree. I have lived all over the U.S. (military) and Ohio folks seems to pride themselves on how mean and rude they can be to others, not to mention get off on ripping others off and lying when it’s not even necessary! Ohio is the most HOSTILE state I have ever lived in. I wouldn’t even use that word to describe any other state I’ve been to! The people here are just nasty, backstabbing, out right mean and proud of it!
  3. I deal with people from all over the country through ecommerce. I’ve noticed for quite awhile that people from Ohio (and also Indiana) seem to be the rudest people I encounter, by far. I dated a girl from Indiana for a couple of months and she was just the worst in terms of rudeness… angry, mean, argumentative, same with many of our customers from that region.
  4. I moved here from Texas, and I must say that I hate the people in Ohio! They are the rudest people on the planet. What is wrong with you people? Being a Southern Gentleman, I find it disgusting to interact with these morons. They drive like idiots and have this attitude like they are better than everyone else. I find their elitist mindset ironic since they are not very attractive people, to put it nicely. I say thank you, yes ma’am, yes sir, open doors for men and women. Here they “statue walk” and expect you to get out of their way. The men and women are very aggressive and……….rude. I can’t stand these “people”. Ready to move South for some good, honest brothers and sisters. Ohio can stick it!
  5. Wow, Ohio above New Jersey (and New York)…and at the top even? Must be all those angry Cleveland pro sports fans.
  6. Rude and crude with attitude is becoming the new normal for behavior, according to the fourth annual “Civility in America” study. Yep. Especially in the sports section of cleveland.com. If you’re not rude, don’t bother even to comment over there.
  7. Hard not to swear in northern Ohio after watching the Browns week in and week out….Although there was alot less swearing this week than normal.
  8. I currently live in Northeast ohio and I cant wait to leave.
  9. I have lived in major cities–New York, Los Angeles and Chicago–and I am overwhelmed with the rudeness that I have to deal with on a daily basis in Columbus, OH. My ex wife dragged me here so she could be close to her family and I seriously do not know what is wrong with these people, other than the fact that they worship boys’ football here, and the violence is embedded in the pysches. Again, I come from what is considered tough cities, but I have never been in a physical confrontation until I got here. My neighbor, whom I don’t even know, stared me down like he wanted to kill me after I had said hello. People are either angry or dismissive for no reason. And the “We don’t do things that way here.” attitude permeates throughout this town. I am moving in a month and cannot wait. This place is hell.
  10. Don’t come here, its bad.

 

I’m reminded of a quote by Robert A. Heinlein in his novel Friday:

“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.”

I also had a conversation recently with friends about the lost art of dueling, how the world today might be less civilized because people do not have to back up their words with a gun any more. No consequences! No strings attached insults! Maybe we should legalize duels again. Except, in this world today–that is, in America–there is no honor, just too much stupidity.

“Next time throw yourself down the well and rid us of your stupidity!” -Gandalf

 

Sources:

  • http://screenwerk.com/2013/05/17/ohio-the-rudest-state-in-us-south-carolina-most-polite/
  • http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/09/rudeness_rules_as_the_new_norm.html
  • http://www.bestplaces.net/backfence/viewcomment.aspx?id=6D9F2ECA-35AB-4922-9D7D-D9F1462A4A13&city=Ohio_OH&p=23900000

 

3 Responses

  1. You know, I come from Indiana, and then moved to Ohio. I’ve only lived in these two states, so maybe I just don’t notice because it’s all I know. But I’ve visited other states and cities and found that people are just PEOPLE. Some are rude, some are nice. I pride myself on always choosing kindness, and I generally get the same in return. So I don’t really see the rudeness.

    1. Hi Leslie. One state away and still in the midwest, you’ll see similar rudeness by most people there, here, in Michigan, and in Pennsylvania, according to studies and opinions. Just opinions, but the studies on rudeness back up those opinions. Isn’t it interesting that most of the people who are shocked by the rudeness are from elsewhere, while locals think life here is just peachy? I don’t know. I catch my kids being rude all the time, stuff they pick up at school, and correct them. It’s not just kids-being-kids and the usual school stuff, it’s the culture here. Or lack of one.

    2. Well, it’s like Jersey–notoriously rude people. Sure, there are nice people there, but good luck finding them… Sure, it’s a generalization, but when one experiences something repeatedly in a short period of time, one can safely assume (from that sample) that it represents the average of the region. Someone who grew up in the midwest will absolutely not know that people can behave quite differently elsewhere. And from personal experience, I’m saying that Ohio is THE rudest place I’ve ever lived. You would think a big city like Phoenix would due to population have more examples of good vs bad people, and I had an occasional run-in with a bad driver or rude store clerk. But nothing in my prior 40 years of life prepared me for the last 4 years in NE Ohio. So I mentioned it to a few friends. One friend lives in NJ (considered the midwest, I guess), and said she had to see a therapist after moving there. Continuous, daily rudeness is not an easy thing for some people to experience after spending most of their life in a more pleasant place. Los Angeles might be another matter; I’ve only lived in N. CA. I also believe Chicago is one of the worst places to live. 500 murders this year so far in that one city. I’ve lived in Oregon and Arizona and people are much kinder there, generally.

      Sorry about the long delay and necropost.

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